When I was growing up making satay took two days. One day for pounding herbs and spices in a mortar and pestle into a marinade for the meat. The second day was for skewering pieces of meat on satay sticks as the aroma of the peanut satay sauce held up the hot summer air. It was labour intensive and time consuming but the pay off was worth it as you bit into the spiced meat drowned in the tangy sweet and spicy peanut sauce. I grew up with a mix of lamb and beef satays.
Now I’m a time poor adult now and have replaced the mortar and pestle with a Thermomix. The marinade is now made in a couple of minutes rather than several minutes of pounding. I still marinate overnight so it’s still a two day affair. I still make the peanut sauce on the second day while the satays are being cooked over a charcoal grill.
The first step to making any satay in Perth in summer is to check the weather and also for any total fire bans that may be called. A total fire ban kills the grill and the satay. Well you could cook it under the grill in the stove or in the oven but it’s not quite the same.
So the recipe. Let me level with you. There are families with their own recipe. I’m in one of those families. However, I’ve been looking around and Poh’s Kitchen Malaysian Satay and Peanut Sauce is the closest to the recipe that I use when cooking for family and friends. While the recipe calls for chicken, the marinade does work for beef, lamb, or even goat.
The time to stop the blades spinning is when the herbs and spices are blended into a smooth paste. It’s good to use straight away as a marinade.
The skewering. Pro tip: Soak the bamboo sticks overnight so that they don’t burn during cooking.
Cooking over charcoals. Check for Total Fire Bans!
Serve and eat.